New technology could predict landslides

New technology which could potentially predict landslides is being trialled in Kaikoura, Kapiti Coast and Wellington.

The breakthrough technology, led by a research project at Victoria University, looks set to revolutionise the way geotechnical engineers monitor and predict landslides - potentially saving lives.

Engineering and Computer Science student Jonathan Olds has created a pilot installation for an automated long-term monitoring system of landslides.

Viclink Commercialisation Manager Nick Willis, who is working with researchers to bring the product to market, says the technology will transform the traditional and expensive method of manual surveying.

"The holy grail of managing landslide risk is prediction but predictions can only be made if movement can be measured right down to the number of millimetres per day over a long period of time."

Mr Willis said there was an increasing need for this type of technology with about 66 million people, or one percent of the world's population, in high-risk landslide areas.

Following the pilot in Taiwan, the technology is now being trialled closer to home in areas where landslides have occurred, including monitoring the transport corridors in Kaikoura, Kapiti Coast and Wellington.

NZN